POSTED: Friday, October 5, 2012 - 12:30pm
UPDATED: Friday, October 5, 2012 - 12:34pm
NEW ORLEANS, LA (WGNO) — The Meters are local "funk" legends influencing musicians all over the world. Now they could be joining the ranks of The Beatles, The Who and The Rolling Stones. But it's not a done deal for The Meters. To be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame they need as many votes as possible.
"You know what? It feels very good after all this time, man. I started out when I was 16. I had a song called Mardi Gras Mambo," says Art Neville sitting on his front porch in Uptown.
Neville says he's honored The Meters are nominated to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 47 years after he formed the group, "We were young boys when we started. I'm ten years older than the rest of the guys. I got a birthday coming up in December. DARE I ASK? I'm going to be 75 years old, man."
"They have been trying to get the meters inducted, man. For years," says original Meter Leo Nocentelli on the phone from Burbank, California. "It feels great, I'm glad to be a part of New Orleans and represent the city."
"It's safe to say that The Meters totally changed my life," says former music critic for the Times Picayune Scott Aiges, "The Meters are every bit New Orleans music as Professor Long Hair ,Earl King, Dr. John, The Neville Brothers. There would be no Neville Brothers if it weren't for The Meters."
Art Neville hopes the nomination will bring a positive musical influence to the younger generation, "And they got so many Neville's fixin' to come up, man. I'm so happy that it finally turned into being something. If people recognize you for something it's good."
"For them to be nominated into the rock and roll hall of fame I say it's long overdue," says Aiges, now with the New Orleans Jazz Heritage Foundation. "They are the bedrock of funk, period. The sound they developed was absolutely unique. Deeply embedded in New Orleans second line grooves, Mardi Gras Indian music."
Nocentelli elaborates, "Funk. A little bit of progressive jazz, a little bit of Dixieland. It's a mixture. Like Gumbo. You know, like from where I'm from. New Orleans. You know the fans have supported us for over forty years. You don't get no better fans that that."
"I think it's going to last forever. It will be here forever," says Neville.
Other nominees for the Hall of Fame this year include Randy Newman, Rush, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts and rap pioneers Public Enemy.
Click here  to vote.